From the Highs to the Lows – Luke 9:18-22 ESV, Fred Fitzgerald, Teaching Team

A study of the Gospel of Luke 9:18–22

Luke 9:18–22

If you are able to this morning would you stand with me as we read God’s word to us.

18 And it happened, as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him, and He asked them, saying, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”

 19 So they answered and said, “John the Baptist, but some say Elijah; and others say that one of the old prophets has risen again.” 

20 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.”

 21 And He strictly warned and commanded them to tell this to no one,

 22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.”

There were two other Gospels written on this incident.

 The Apostle Matthew and the disciple Mark recorded this same situation. 

So, let’s see what they say and then compare all three to gather more information.

Matthew 16:13-23 

13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” 

14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 

15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

 16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

 17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 

18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 

19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 

20 Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ. 

21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.

 22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” 

23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

Mark 8:27-33, “ 27 Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and on the road He asked His disciples, saying to them, “Who do men say that I am?” 

28 So they answered, “John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” 

29 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.” 

30 Then He strictly warned them that they should tell no one about Him. 

31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 

32 He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. 

33 But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

I love the Gospels.

 When you take the time to think through every Gospel to understand what exactly took place you are greatly blessed.

I find it exhilarating to see some amazing things which happened with our Savior as He Is guided by our Wonderful Holy Spirit into situations which displays the fulfillment of prophecy. 

Over and over, He winds up doing something that the prophets had predicted the Messiah would do.

Besides the Gospel of Luke which we are presently studying, the apostles Matthew and Peter felt the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to write down the same incident. 

And I am very thankful because as you have just reviewed scripture they give us a more in depth report of what transpired.

Now, here is a question for us to consider, ‘Have any of you any questions or concerns in what you just read?’

At first there seems to be some inconsistencies. 

Did you pick them up? 

Well, let me tell you what I noticed.

 In Luke’s version, he says that the Lord was alone praying, and His disciples joined Him. 

Then He asked the question regarding Who was He thought to be.

Mark was informed by Peter that Jesus was traveling around a few towns around Caesarea Philippi and on the road

 He asked the disciples the question.

So, who is right?

The Word of God is perfect.

 So, the problem lies with us, not in the Scripture.

 When we slow down to the speed of life and fully examine the Scripture, we will fully understand how everything occurred.

I believe the singer Willie Nelson can help us understand the situation.

 One of his famous songs was ‘On The Road Again’.

Peter and Matthew were with our Lord Jesus when all this transpired. 

In fact, as we will shortly review, Peter was a key participant in everything that happened.

Jesus was on the ‘road’ traveling with His disciples. 

He had left His home base of operations which was the town of Capernaum, and He went out to visit other towns which in this case were near the area of Caesarea Philippi. 

Situated 25 miles north of the Sea of Galilee and at the base of Mt. Hermon, Caesarea Philippi is the location of one of the largest springs feeding the Jordan River. 

This abundant water supply has made the area very fertile and attractive for religious worship.

This is the area where Jesus and His disciples camped out and hopefully we come to understand how the communication between our Lord and His apostles, especially Peter, exactly meant.

Along this roadside there is a perfect camping site. 

There is a fresh-water spring that runs below a rocky cliff.

Once settled Jesus walked away alone from His apostles to spend some time in prayer. 

They didn’t give Him much time alone as they came to where He was at.

18 And it happened, as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him, and He asked them, saying, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”

Jesus was not upset over His guys not giving Him any time for Himself.

 He took this opportunity to knock up a few notches their personal training.

He asked them what was being said about Him. 

Answers came shooting out from the group.

 ‘Some say that you are John the Baptist back from the dead.’ Another chimed in, ‘Some are saying that you are Elijah.’

 Then others joined in the conversation mentioning how they heard other people identifying the Lord with other prophets.

19 So they answered and said, “John the Baptist, but some say Elijah; and others say that one of the old prophets has risen again.”

Jesus knows how to cut to the chase. 

He asked, ‘But who do you guys think I AM?’

 Peter wasted no time in responding. 

He boldly declared, ‘You Are God’s Promised Holy Anointed One – The Christ.’

20 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.”

Now I need to add some comments which might cause some people some concern. We have read Luke’s, Matthew’s, and Mark’s write up regarding this event. 

So, let me ask you this, ‘which writer give us the Lord’s comments to Peter in more detail after he had proclaimed that our Lord Jesus Is The Messiah. 

The answer is Matthew.

You might now be thinking, ‘So. What’s the big deal?’

I believe that this fact is greatly significant. 

Let’s get a little historical perspective.

You see over 400 years in the future the church had grown and was guided by three bishops located in Jerusalem, Rome, and Constantinople. 

Many of these leaders suffered martyrdom.

The Roman Emperor Constantine changed everything.

 Believing that Jesus had helped him win a major war, in appreciation, he declared Christianity the formal religion of the world.

 He called the church leaders to Rome and declared himself the title of Pontifex Maximus. 

‘pontifex maximus’ means the highest priest of Roman religion and official head of the college of pontifices. 

As the chief administrator of religious affair, he regulated the conduct of religious ceremonies, consecrated temples, and other holy places, and controlled the calendar. 

During the time of the empire, and until Christianity became firmly established, the emperor was designated pontifex maximus.

Ultimately, Constantine decided to move his headquarters to Constantinople and left the Western section of the empire to the bishop of Rome. 

Suddenly, this church leader not only took over supremacy over all Christianity by taking the title of Pontifex Maximus, but also became a secular leader of the Western portion of the Roman Empire.

In a slight of hand move the Roman leader developed from Matthew’s write up of the Lord’s words to Peter as the official appointment of supreme ruler.

Look again at what Matthew wrote. “17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

The Roman bishop developed a term called ‘apostolic succession’. 

He pointed to Matthew’s verses to say that Peter was the first head of the church.

 He had his assistance go back to the prior list of bishops of Rome and put together a list of official successors.

 He named Peter the first Pope conveniently naming the bishops of Rome, his successors.

An interesting historical fact though is this. I am not Catholic Bashing, I was raised as a Roman Catholic and attended Catholic Schools.

 But I find It is amazing how the Roman Catholic Church keeps this all in the dark. 

For one thing Peter was not the first leader of the church. 

When you read the book of Acts you come to find out that our Lord’s brother James was the first leader. Head of the Church of Jerlusalem and of the Council of Jerlusalem

Secondly, before Peter even visited Rome, there was already a Christian church and church leaders. 

Remember one of the books of the New Testament is the book of Romans.

 Here the apostle Paul wrote to the church at Rome hoping and praying that Jeasus would give him the opportunity to visit Rome. 

Paul ultimately got there and then in later years Peter came to the city.

Another thing I find very interesting is this.

 If Jesus appointed Peter as the head of His church, then how come only Matthew records our Lord’s words. 

Wouldn’t you think that Peter who advised Mark what to write down in his Gospel would comment on his appointment by our Lord.

 ‘Hey Mark, don’t forget to write down that our Lord at Caesarea Philippi made me the first Pope.’

 No, as we will soon read Peter wanted to distance himself from what our Lord said to him a little later on 

–“21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.

 22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” 

23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

You see when we go back to the area around the rocky cliff near Caesarea Philippi Jesus responded to Peter’s confession that HE was the Christ or Anointed Holy One. 

He told Peter and upon this rock,

Jesus was not going to build a physical church at the rocky cliff near Caesarea Philippi] or upon Peter’s strong and bold confession of our Lord’s identity, a whole new nation of believers would be established – The Christian Church.

Jesus didn’t say, ‘Thou art Peter.’, then look to all of His other apostles while he had his arm around Peter, and say, ‘Hey guys, upon my buddy Peter who is a rock – and upon him, I am going to build my church.’ 

Can you understand this important fact?

Now I also find interesting Jesus’s remarks about binding and loosing – ‘19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’

What is going on when you read about binding or loosing? 

Well, the first thing you think about is that ‘binding’ is when you tie someone up as a captive and ‘loosing’ is untying them. In many cases church leaders have use this verse as a weapon against people in the church.

 I believe that it is referring to something totally different than the way it is presently being used by church leadership.

When you share the ‘Good News’ of  Jesus Christ, you know that when a person receives the Lord Jesus he or she is ‘set free’ from their sins or untied from sin. 

Would you agree?

We read in the book of Isaiah chapter 61 verse 1 this awesome verse regarding the future Messiah

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound’

But do you also realize that you also bind or seal up a person? 

When a person comes to Jesus they are then and forever bound to Him.

 How about these wonderful verses.

Deuteronomy 6:8, “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.

Psalm 56:12, “Vows made to You are binding upon me, O God; I will render praises to You.’

Psalm 147:3, “He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds

Isaiah 8:16, “Bind up the testimony, Seal the law among my disciples’

Ezekiel 34:16, “I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, and feed them in judgment.”

Hosea 6:1, “Come, and let us return to the LORD; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up.’

Now that’s the kind of binding that’s really great.

21 And He strictly warned and commanded them to tell this to no one, 

22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.”

Pride comes before a fall. 

Peter was high as a kite. 

Can you imagine his thoughts ‘hey guys, did you just hear what Jesus just said about me. Here I have my portable recorder with me. 

Let me play it back to you, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 

18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 

19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’

 Did you guys catch that, Jesus is letting you all know that the Father speaks to me. Has He spoken to you guys? Huh?’

Well, now Jesus went on to tell his guys of His ultimate sacrifice. 

So, since Peter hears from Heaven, he has to speak out and defend Jesus, right? 

I will just take Jesus aside to correct Him. 

Peter thought that he should be hearing another complement from Jesus

22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”

 for speaking up in defense against the Lord’s thoughts that He will be arrested.

Not quite Peter, from the Penthouse to the Outhouse 

–‘23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

Let’s recap this morning:

To do so I want to us Baseball as a metaphor

I love the game of Baseball.

Baseball games are wonderful pass-time events. 

The excitement is sudden, from the hot dogs which I think tastes better (even at prices that stop your heart), there is probably no other sport which so captures the American culture.

Ya gotta love the pitchers, especially when one is in the middle of a no-hitter. 

He has successfully tossed the ball in such a way that every batter at the plate has been unsuccessful in either making contact with the ball or making it safely to a base after contact.

In our lives there is the distinct possibility that we too may be swinging and missing. 

Not a bat missing a ball, but our lives missing eternity.

 Jesus spoke on at least three different occasions about His death. 

He has given us three strikes, three opportunities to see, and understand His true purpose. 

Why He came, and what He hopes to accomplish. This is the focus of our Easter series this year. You are invited to come along.

I JESUS ON THE MOUND – LUKE 9:18-21

A A note about prayer

1 Prayer is important before momentous events

2 Prayer is important for the insight of others

3 Prayer is important for our strength to persevere

JESUS IS ON THE MOUND READY TO THROW A “PITCH” HE HOPES WE WILL HIT!

“Who am I really”

1 Most people believed the time of prophets had ended.

 Identification as a prophet was a RADICAL idea

The popular belief of the people may not be the correct belief.

1) Jesus is more than just the greatest of men

The popular opinion of the people may not be correct

1) Jesus was far more than John the Baptist

2) Jesus was far more than Elijah

3) Jesus was far more than a prophet of old (as radical as that was!)

What was popular then is popular now

1) Jesus is a great guy

2) Jesus is a great teacher

3) Jesus revealed a lot of important things

4) We can learn a lot by studying the life of Jesus

A FALSE BELIEF THEN OR NOW IS STILL A FALSE BELIEF!

2 The disciples believed differently

Identified Jesus as the Messiah

Had incorrect idea of His purpose

Had an incorrect idea of their future

The problem with incomplete knowledge

1) Incomplete knowledge of Christ is an instrument of the devil

Matthew 16:23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”

2) Incomplete knowledge only gives us part of the message

Luke 9:21 Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone.

It is necessary to proclaim Jesus in light of his DEATH AND RESURRECTION!

(1) Luke 9:22 – Must mean necessary

When Jesus speaks of His death He also speaks of His resurrection

II JESUS THROWS THE PITCH – LUKE 9:20 … “WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM?”

The answer is forceful – (you are) The Christ of God

The answer is profound – (you are) The Christ{the anointed one} of God

1 You have a deliberate mission from God

2 You are qualified for the mission by God

Jesus’s answer is personal

1 Jesus asked, “Who do YOU say”

Our response to Christ MUST be personal

The only we can attain salvation is personally

We cannot receive salvation on the coattails of another

The answer determines a man’s salvation

III JESUS IS LOOKING FOR A HIT

Jesus is looking for those who will follow Him

The cost of discipleship

1 Denying myself

There is the tendency to indulge ourselves – Always looking for the best deal with the lowest cost

2 Carry the cross

Cross was a violent form of execution

Carrying your cross through the city was a symbolic statement

1) The empire was right in its punishment

2) The empire was right and the individual was wrong

3) We are being asked to declare that we were wrong and that Jesus was right!

3 Follow the Lord

The consequence of not following is loss

1) To forfeit yourself – “to lose what is greatest”

2) Men want what they cannot attain

3) Striving for what we cannot have causes us to lose what is so important

We do not want to be measured by our convictions, but our accomplishments!

WE LOSE WHEN WE SETTLE FOR WHAT WE WANT RATHER THAN WHAT WE CAN HAVE!

Two good statements of things learned in life are as follow:

1. There Is A God

2. I am not He

If He is our God then we need to let Him Rule,

 no other – including ourselves.

Plan of Salvation